Co-occurring disorders can be the result of heavy drinking, or the reason for it. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are amplified during alcohol withdrawal, and usually last several weeks while detox takes place.
Antidepressants are usually not prescribed until 2-3 weeks after drinking has completely stopped. This is because medications may not be properly metabolized until the majority of alcohol has been eliminated from your system.
The Canyon provides safe, medically supervised detox programs to help manage adverse reactions during withdrawal. A focus on addiction counseling, vitamin supplements, and balanced nutrition help your mind and body to begin the critical steps of adjusting to recovery.
Effects Are Different for Everyone
The mental effects of alcohol are directly related to the duration and amount a person uses:
- Infrequent, moderate drinkers experience an invigorating release of inhibitions, eager enthusiasm for food, and an all-around sensation of relaxation.
- Routine drinkers who consume low to moderate amounts on a regular basis encounter feelings of nervousness, melancholy, restlessness, irritation, and a number of interpersonal troubles.
- Chronic, heavy drinking results in depression, insomnia, paranoia, hallucinations, dementia, and extended loss of consciousness (coma).
Alcohol contributes enormously to the risk of developing depression. Roughly 40 percent of heavy drinkers show signs of major depressive disorders:
- Depression – chronic feelings of worthlessness, sleeping too much or not enough, lack of interest and motivation, difficulty making decisions or paying attention, struggles with obsessive suicidal thoughts
- Dysthmia – less severe than major depression characterized by persistently depressed mood, fatigue, low self-esteem, unusual sleeping or eating habits, difficulty concentrating
- Bipolar Disorder – major depression that alternates with intense episodes of mania: euphoric enlightenment, inflated self-esteem, and a flighty, outgoing personality
- Cyclothymia – less severe periods of mania (hypomania) than bipolar disorder that do not interfere with regular functioning and rarely require intervention as a precaution for personal safety
Depressed people are also more likely to use alcohol as a way to manage uncomfortable or debilitating symptoms. Dependency manifests itself rather quickly as the initial effects of alcohol bring a heightened sense of euphoria and release. But as the presence of the drug persists, chemical imbalances begin to invade key areas of the brain involved with sleep cycles, appetite, mood, fear and anxiety, triggering more severe and more frequent depressive episodes.
Fear and nervousness are natural instincts that allow us to navigate the world by avoiding danger.
Anxiety as a mental disorder is diagnosed when symptoms begin to interfere with daily life, whether brought on by real or imagined circumstances. Often sensations of choking, sinking, or being frozen in place are used describe the combination of fight-or-flight symptoms associated with anxiety:
- Feelings of uncertainty, apprehension
- Rapid heart beat
- High blood pressure
- Increased respiration
- Tense muscles/ rigid posture
- Constipation/ diarrhea
Anxiety symptoms usually subside between 4-6 weeks without alcohol. For lingering symptoms, the best results have been achieved with a combination of relaxation techniques and antidepressant medications.
Treatment at The Canyon
Sometimes it’s not clear whether emotional stress lead a person to alcohol, or vice versa. What is clear is that both conditions need to be treated simultaneously in order to avoid relapse in one or both conditions.
Why go to a treatment center for an addiction, and leave needing further counseling for another mental illness? Our staff at The Canyon has undergone rigorous training for identifying hidden disorders among those with alcohol and drug addiction. We provide comprehensive treatment plans that help you address the recurring problems in your life, not just drinking.
When you call to get help at The Canyon, we give you all the help you need.